Have you ever prayed for a need in your life or in the life of a loved one and presented your request to the Lord like this?
"Lord, if you can..."
Or maybe you said something like, "Lord, I would be grateful, if you could just..."
I know that I have. Perhaps you haven't actually presented your request with these words, but later found yourself thinking, "I hope God can do this," or something to that effect. When we present our requests to God in that way, we are like the man who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus in Mark, chapter 9. When the man came to Jesus, he presented his need to Him saying, "But if you can do anything..." The One who healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water, and restored sight to the blind was being asked if He could help!
I love Jesus' response to the man. He begins by repeating the man's words, "If you can?" Jesus then says, "Everything is possible for one who believes." Belief, or faith, is a key to seeing God work in our lives. When we have faith, when we truly believe beyond a doubt, nothing is impossible. Jesus told His disciples that, if they had faith and did not doubt, they could tell a mountain to move and it would. He said that, if we believe, we will receive whatever we ask for in prayer. (Matthew 21:21-22)
When we bring our prayer requests before the Lord, we need to do so with the faith that He hears and He will answer. We need to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that He can and will answer our prayers and, if the answer is not what we hoped for, He will give us the ability to accept that answer as His perfect will. So, when we find ourselves saying to the Lord, "If you can," we need to stop and like the man with the demon-possessed son in Mark 9, say, "Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief." (Matthew 9:24).